Mumbai Diary page: Wednesday Whispers

May 21, 2014, 08:10 IST | MiD DAY Correspondent

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

New paan star on the block
We are used to seeing all sorts of establishments advertise their goods and services, including the smallest and most unlikely. Even bhel and chaat stalls are seen putting up posters.

But even we, of the hardened sensibilities, were surprised and amused to find a poster, legitimately advertised on a bus stop in the city, singing the praises of a Worli-based paanwallah. Yes, you read it right — the entire poster advertised various kinds of speciality paan, with images of each to boot.

Considering that an after-dinner paan is something we find at the neighbourhood nook, this is a bold step. Perhaps there is a marketing maven in the paan man’s family. Or perhaps he just took a leaf (pardon our propensity to pun) from the latest MBA bestseller that the pirate king is probably selling a stone’s throw away.

Name changer
Is it Shoppers Stop or Swappers Stop? We spotted this poster near Shoppers Stop on Linking Road at Bandra (W) where the names of the two Shiv Sena MPs, Gajanan Kirtikar and Rahul Shewale, have been interchanged.

In the poster Shewale has become Kirtikar and Kirtikar has become Shewale. Looks like the victorious party members were so excited, they mixed up the names and didn’t notice.

Quite the gentleman, really
The new AB on the block, Abhishek Bachchan, was the cynosure of attention at a press conference to promote India’s first ever pro kabaddi league on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL), yesterday at the ITC Grand Central hotel in Parel.

Abhishek Bachchan. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Abhishek Bachchan. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The dais sported a slew of men seated on chairs addressing the press. The minute the lone woman, Radha Kapoor (CEO of the Delhi team), walked up to the stage, AB went into full gentleman mode, standing up and extending a hand to help her up. Shows class, AB.

Naughty naughty, Zee
Some of us were excited at seeing the blurb in the electronic programme guide of the cable channel Zee Studio the other day. It was showing Pride and Prejudice, and the blurb claimed that it starred Colin Firth as the magnetically brooding Mr Darcy.

Firth is known to have made many swoon with this role, and the entire Bridget Jones edifice was practically built around him. But alas, the movie on TV actually starred Matthew MacFadyen as Darcy. A poor second, and our hopes were dashed.

Just click for Dharavi
Did you think Dharavi, by now well known as “Asia’s largest slum”, is just a cluster of unorganised, makeshift shanties and small businesses? Not any longer.

Dharavi businesses are now on the internet
Dharavi businesses are now on the internet

While many Mumbaikars (and some from other places too) are familiar with the goods and services available in Dharavi, that information has just exploded out onto the internet, in an organised, accessible way.

A new website,, has given the small businesses of the area an online presence, providing a one-stop view of their goods, services and contact information.

A quick look at reveals a neatly-made site, easy to navigate and with basic information. Businesses listed vary from boutiques to medical stores, and of course include the famed leather stores and potteries.

The website is a project by city-based NGO Ulhaas Foundation in collaboration with web solutions company HostGator India. Initially, volunteers have reached out to more than 1,100 small- and medium-scale businesses to provide them with this basic website presence.

These businesses will eventually also be given an option to scale up their online presence with subsidised hosting solutions from HostGator. We think this is a great idea, and hope it signals a change in the image of Dharavi as seen by the rest of the world.

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